Now Accepting Award Nominations


Chosen annually, APTA Virginia honors members who have made exceptional contributions to the advancement of physical therapy through research, performance, leadership, and innovation.

The awards acknowledge the association's appreciation of the inspiring contributions that have lasting impact, demonstrate the highest level of professionalism, and deliver exceptional results in physical therapy. 

“The depth and breadth of last year's winners are a testament to the innovative and inspiring work being done across our field, and the commitment our members bring to their patients each and every day.” - Tony Grillo, APTA Virginia President

The Beb Cash Award is awarded in memory of Bess "Beb" Cash, a 1951 graduate of the Medical College of Virginia who was taken too soon by a car accident. Beb held numerous positions within the chapter, both elective and appointive.  She was serving a second term as corresponding secretary at the time of her death. She worked in Richmond for most of her career serving at McGuire VA Hospital, the Instructional Visiting Nurse Association, and Saint Mary's Hospital.   The Beb Cash Award honors physical therapists who have made outstanding contributions to clinical practice, particularly to the improvement of patient care. Also, to acknowledge clinician's development through APTA Virginia Participation.

The Community Service Award honors PTs and PTAs who demonstrate a commitment to health and wellness-based community service by addressing issues related to societal welfare. This award recognizes individuals who demonstrate the physical therapy core values of compassion, social responsibility, and altruism through a commitment towards philanthropic activity, raising awareness of social determinants of health, and the needs of marginalized populations. The recipients will inspire patients, clients, students, and communities by demonstrating how physical therapy can impact community needs. 

The Emerging Leader Award honors an “emerging leader” who has demonstrated extraordinary service early in his or her physical therapy career and made exceptional overall accomplishments and contributions to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), APTA Virginia, and the physical therapy profession to advance APTA's vision.

The John L. "Jack" Echternach Research Award, formerly the VPTA Research Award, was renamed in honor of John L. Echternach, PT, EdD, ECS, FAPTA, reflecting more than 30 years of honorable service to the APTA. It acknowledges his role as an exemplary educator, mentor, and role model for countless students of physical therapy. As a leader in the professional association, Dr. Echternach has contributed immensely to the area of ongoing academic and clinical research, presenting findings in both local and national forums. He has been an acknowledged advocate for the development of a professional body of poignant literature and research. The APTA has recognized him nationally through the receipt of various awards, including the Catherine Worthingham Fellows membership and the Golden Pen Award, for research and literary contributions to physical therapy. It was therefore deemed fitting and appropriate that our VPTA Research Award be renamed in recognition of Dr. Echternach.   The John L. “Jack” Echternach Research Award honors PTs and PTAs who promote and/or encourage research in physical therapy. The types of research to be fostered include, but are not limited to, academic or clinical research.

The M. Scott Sullivan Leadership Award is awarded in memory of Scott Sullivan, who served the APTA Virginia in various leadership positions, was an associate professor at the Medical College of Virginia, a devoted family man, and active in his community up until the time of his passing in 1998. This award was first granted posthumously to Scott Sullivan in April 1999. The M. Scott Sullivan Leadership Award honors PTs and PTAs who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in their service to APTA Virginia.

The Physical Therapist Assistant Award honors physical therapist assistants who have made an outstanding contribution to clinical practice and development through participation in APTA Virginia.

Please note that Board members and Awards Committee members are not eligible, nor can they nominate, write letters of support, or endorse an individual for these awards per our policy and procedures. If you have any questions, please send them to

The deadline to submit a nomination is Wednesday, February 1, 2023.



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